Dr. Josiah Gilbert Holland, the founding editor, contributed serial fiction and essays on morals, manners, politics, religion, and current events to the early issues. Henry James, Bret Harte, George W. Cable, Edward Eggleston, Edward Everett Hale, Joel Chandler Harris, Hans Christian Andersen, and Helen Hunt were among other famous contributors. The engravings, woodcuts, and other illustrations were abundant and of the highest quality. A long series on the South, one on the Civil War, and another on Lincoln were very popular and profitable for the magazine. Series and articles of historic and current interest rounded out the content of one of the most important magazines of the period.